Reviewing the Top 10 Prospect Lists: AL West

After a short break to help cover the trade deadline, we’re back taking a look at the pre-season Top 10 lists for all the MLB organizations. Previously, we looked at the National League. The American League is up now and the review begins with the West Division.

Texas Rangers
1. Jurickson Profar, SS
2. Martin Perez, LHP
3. Tanner Scheppers,
4. Robbie Erlin, LHP
5. Michael Kirkman, LHP
6. Mike Olt, 3B
7. Robbie Ross, LHP
8. Jake Skole, OF
9. Luis Sardinas, SS
10. Neil Ramirez, RHP

The Top 10 list has a bit of a different look now than it did at the beginning of the 2011 season. Erlin was sent to San Diego during the recent MLB Trade Deadline (along with Joe Weiland, who was a solid contender to make my 2012 list). I’m pretty proud of this Texas Rangers list for a few reasons. Firstly, I identified Ramirez as a solid talent and he moved quickly through the system this year. Both Baseball America and Kevin Goldstein left him off their lists, but John Sickels and Keith Law also saw the potential. I also ranked Profar ahead of Perez, a decision that was not widely adopted amongst other analysts. Profar, just 18, has an .895 OPS and more walks than strikeouts in A-ball. I was the only analyst who left Engel Beltre off the Top 10 (both Keith Law and Goldestein ranked him as high as fourth based on his impressive tools) and he has a .602 OPS in double-A.

Los Angeles Angels
1. Mike Trout, OF
2. Jean Segura, 2B
3. Tyler Chatwood, RHP
4. Hank Conger, C
5. Jordan Walden, RHP
6. Kaleb Cowart, 3B
7. Garrett Richards, RHP
8. Mark Trumbo, 1B
9. Cam Bedrosian, RHP
10. Fabio Martinez, RHP

Trout has struggled a bit in the Majors but he remains an impact talent. The organization will see a huge overhaul in its Top 10 list for 2012 because Trout is just one of a handful of prospects that have graduated to the Majors. Chatwood, Conger, Walden and Trumbo have all lost their prospect eligibility. Segura has played well when healthy but he’s battled injuries and only appeared in 37 games. Bedrosian’s first full pro season was wiped out by Tommy John surgery. Cowart has had a very nice offensive season in Rookie Ball but he’s struggled defensively at the hot corner.

Oakland Athletics
1. Grant Green, SS/OF
2. Chris Carter, 1B
3. Michael Choice, OF
4. Jemile Weeks, 2B
5. Max Stassi, C
6. Ian Krol, LHP
7. Yordy Cabrera, SS
8. Michael Taylor, OF
9. Rashun Dixon, OF
10. Chad Lewis, 3B/1B

Green hasn’t produced the same kind of offensive performance that he did in the potent California League in 2010, but he’s been solid this year. A move to the outfield from shortstop – where he was merely adequate – could really help his value. Choice, though, has been the big mover in 2011 and could be the top prospect in the system when the 2012 lists are released this winter. He’s slugged 27 homers in 95 games, but remember that this is the same league that inflated Green’s power numbers. I took a big swing and missed with Dixon, expecting his athleticism to continue to develop into solid baseball skills with the help of the California League. I was wrong. I also expected a quicker transition to pro ball for Lewis, but he’s struggled. I took a lot of heat at the time for omitting Stephen Parker from the Top 10 list, as he appeared on Law’s, Goldstein’s and Sickel’s list) but his numbers appear to have been inflated by the California League. He now looks more like a quad-A player or big league back-up.

Seattle Mariners
1. Michael Pineda, RHP
2. Dustin Ackley, 2B
3. Nick Franklin, SS
4. Taijuan Walker, RHP
5. Guillermo Pimentel, OF
6. Mauricio Robles, LHP
7. Johermyn Chavez, OF
8. Kyle Seager, 3B
9. Dan Cortes, RHP
10. Blake Beavan, RHP

Ranking Mariners prospects is always easier when you can bend the ear of Dave Cameron. The one-through-four ranking looks very solid in hindsight. Pineda has been even better than I expected when I ranked him No. 1 overall. Ackley has also made a very quick adjustment to the Majors. Beavan clawed his way onto my Top 10 list (and on Goldstein’s) and the decision looks wise. He produced solid big league numbers in four starts even if his ceiling is that of a No. 4 starter. One name you can expect to see on the 2012 Top 10 list is James Paxton. The Canadian pitcher has been a very fast mover in the system during the 2011 season.



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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects, depth charts and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.


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Marc:

Where would you rank Chris Carter, given his disappointing 2011 campaign?

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